Pakistan remembers its first foreign minister Zafarullah Khan on his death anniversary

September 1, 2018

The country remembers its first foreign minister, Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, on his 33rd death anniversary.

Khan is still the only Pakistani to preside over the UN General Assembly and the International Court of Justice. He passed away on September 1, 1985 in Lahore.

Born in Sialkot on February 6, 1893, Khan was educated at Government College, Lahore and later King’s College, London.

He practiced law from 1914 to 1935 and went on to become a member of the Punjab Legislative Council. In 1931 he was also elected president of the All India Muslim League. He also served as a member of the viceroy’s executive council, with the portfolios of commerce and railways, industries and labour and law and war supply.

After Partition, he served as the country’s foreign minister till 1954, after which he became a member of the International Court of Justice. He served as Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN from August 1961 to 1964. He was elected president of the 17th UN General Assembly in 1962.

He also represented Palestine during his time at the UN in a de facto capacity.

After he left the UN, he returned to the ICJ and in 1970 became the first and only Pakistani to serve as its president. He served on this post till 1973, after which he retired and moved to Lahore.

Apart from his diplomatic career, Khan also authored numerous books in both English and Urdu.